14 October 2012 is a very important date. Why? Not only is it right in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s also the day that people across the globe are getting active for marginalized cancer patients in Zimbabwe. As you read this, our dedicated team in Harare is spending this week with the patients – listening to their stories, capturing images and videos. An update from the Harare team today was: “it has been a heart-tugging, but fulfilling day!”
On 14 October, several people including the ECCT Founder, Teurai Chanakira, will be participating in the various runs in the Melbourne Marathon Festival and asking people to sponsor them to support the patients with food, medical needs and school fees for some of the patients’ children.
Just one sighting of a link to the Melbourne Marathon on a friend’s Facebook page, led one young lady to act. Lorraine is a 30-year old Zimbabwean working in the Accountancy field, in Calgary, Canada. She has been living in Canada since 2001. Lorraine will be joining the Family of ECCT by walking in her city to contribute one Dr’s consult per month (each consult costs USD$60) and monthly prescriptions (USD$50) for one patient for six months which equals a total of $660. She will be asking her church and friends in Calgary to support her.
What is even more inspiring is Lorraine’s personal story. “I can’t put into words how it feels to be part of such a great cause…well, I am excited! I have lost family members to cancer and had a minor thyroid cancer scare myself a year ago. As I was going for screening tests my mom kept saying, “you need to thank God that you are in Canada , because so many here in Zimbabwe are dying from cancer because they can’t afford to get tests and treatment”. After I found out that I was cancer-free ( thank God) it made me realize that we are all here for a purpose. God gave me the chance to get free testing without having to worry about how I was going to come up with the funds for my next doctor’s appointment. So, on that note it’s time I return the favor and put in some time to give a family that peace of mind to not worry about their family member’s treatment. I truly believe God has blessed me , now I have to be a blessing to someone else.”
ECCT’s vision is for a change in legislation to allow subsidized or free cancer treatment in Zimbabwe in the future. Lorraine states that she envisions the same: “my hope and prayer is that one day Zimbabwean cancer patients can get free access to the health care they so badly need. With cancer being the leading cause of death in Zimbabwe, I pray that the Government and other bodies start to raise even more awareness about this Monster of a disease. Together we can make a change and this is where it starts!”
**Keep your eyes posted on our blog as we bring you updates on more members of the Family of ECCT getting active and joining us from across the globe to support marginalized cancer patients in Zimbabwe.